The 119th Street Well In Harlem Farming Country, 1897 (Photo)

The 119th Street Well by James Reuel Smith, the Well was located 25 feet south of west 119th Street and 150 feet east of Amsterdam Avenue, NY, October 6, 1897.

The Wells and Springs that ran throughout Harlem, the Bronx and the entire area are connected to the “Indian Springs” and Wells. Many were much like the one above (looks something like the old “Privy,” toilet located in a small shed outside a house or other building; an outhouse). The Wells were simply covered with wood panels on all sides, a wooden door with string(s), stones on dirt walking paths and of course a bucket. Smith’s photographs document this transition between “Indian Springs” to the Industrial Revolution of mass production products and services to bring water inside the homes of Harlem’s farming country.

James Reuel Smith. In 1922, he published Springs and Wells in Greek and Roman Literature, Their Legends and Locations and spent much of the years from 1897 to 1901 bicycling around Northern Manhattan, Harlem, Inwood, Washington Heights.

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